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Islay Whisky

Islay (pronounced ‘eye-luh’) whiskies are among Scotland’s most powerful, thunderous drams. Often with plenty of peat and smoke, brine and medicinal flavours, of all the whisky regions of Scotland Islay has attained a truly iconic status. When compared to the various drink producing regions of the world, be it the Grande Champagne designation of Cognac or the first growths of Bordeaux, or that distant island, Madeira, there is something magical about the illustrious Scottish Isle, some 35 miles from the coast of Northern Island.

There are some nine distilleries on the Isle. To the North there lies Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila, to the west of Loch Indaal sits Bruichladdich and further west, the newly founded Kilchoman - Scotland’s most westerly distillery. To the centre of the isle sits the mighty Bowmore, but it is from the southern coast, not far from Port Ellen and the closed distillery of the same name, that the most pungent whisky emanates, produced by the trio of leviathan Ileach distilleries; Ardbeg, Lagavulin and of course Laphroaig. There is a defined power to the whisky, peat being the obvious attribute, certainly the best associated. Smoke is both a flavour of its own, but is intrinsically linked with peat. The peat flavour is imparted during the barley malted process, the smoke used to dry out the barley is produced by burning peat.

There is a marked reduction in peaty power to the far north; the malts of Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain are comparatively soft. In Bruichladdich’s case it is due to the relative shelter from the elements that the Rhinns proffers. For Bunnahabhain it is the unpeated malt and the water source, the Margadale springs, cutting their course in stoic avoidance of the peat beds of Islay. Islay single malts also have a refined salinity; there is a profusion of seaweedy, kelp-rich whiskies.

This is often attributed to the terroir. The Islay distilleries possess a relative close proximity with the sea, all of which save for Kilchoman, the only inlander. The sea spray is said to whip across the warehouses, the salty air penetrates the barrels and flavours the maturing whisky. Of late, whiskies from Islay have become increasingly sought after.

Islay Whisky

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Bunnahabhain bottled by Signatory. This is a cask strength, natural colour whisky distilled on the 4th December 1997, matured in two hogsheads for 12 years before bottling on the 21st January 2010. A...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.0/5)
This was distilled at Bowmore in 2001, and initially aged in bourbon casks. It was then taken a few miles down the road to the Bruichladdich distillery, where it was finished in Port Pipes before...  More info
$57.84
Maximum one bottle per customer.

The newest release from Islay's new farm distillery, Kilchoman. This was matured for three years in fresh Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels before a 3.5 month finish in...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
The first ever Ardbeg Supernova, and Ardbeg's initial go at producing super peaty whisky! This was created specially for the Ardbeg Committee, and when we first tasted it we couldn't believe how...  More info
$482.59
This is the first Bowmore bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range. The range is modelled on the periodic table with each Islay distillery being reduced to a couple of letters...  More info
$87.52
A distillery-only release from Kilchoman Feis Ile 2012. It's a single cask malt matured in a bourbon cask from Buffalo Trace.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$192.99
A single cask from the Caol Ila distillery. This was distilled on the 13th November 1984 and aged for 25 years in hogshead number 5388 before bottling for the Bladnoch Forum on the 19th March 2010. A...  More info
Ardbeg Corryvreckan, this is a the Committee Reserve bottling, released in 2008 to great critical acclaim.  More info
This was distilled from heavily peated malt (unusual for a Bunnahabhain) on the 8th December 1997 and was aged for 12 years in hogsheads 5342 and 5484 before bottling on the 23rd June 2010 as part of...  More info
A 13 year old Bowmore distilled in May 1997 and aged in a single refill hogshead before bottling by Douglas Laing in February 2011. This comes from the Old Malt Cask range, and there are just 297...  More info
$103.34
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain on the 25th May 1992, and it was aged in sherry butt 1691 for 19 years before bottling on the 17th October 2011 for the Carn Mor range. A release of 587 numbered...  More info
$160.81
This fifteen year old Caol Ila has been bottled by Signatory without chill filtration and is a deliciously peaty Islay single malt!  More info
$65.98
A 23 year old Bunnahabhain aged in sherry butt 1282. This was distilled on the 20th October 1986 and bottled on the 21st July 2010. A release of 540 bottles.  More info
$161.56
Bruichladdich Oirthir Gaidheal was released in celebration of Feis Ile 2009. This rare, one-off whisky was distilled on the 22nd April 1993, and it was aged in sherry wood. A release of 1,000 bottles.  More info
$321.70
A sherry finished distillers edition from the Caol Ila distillery. Distilled in 1996, the Moscatel wine has coalesced beautifully with the smoked power of the Islay single malt, the feinty notes are...  More info
$70.52
Port Charlotte PC6
(70cl, 62%)
PC6 represents a peatier release from the Bruichladdich distillery, this 6 year old is part of the Port Charlotte series, a limited release of 18,000 and peated to 40ppm.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A 2007 release of 25 year old whisky from the Bowmore distillery. The older whiskies used in this single malt were aged in predominantly sherry casks and this has brought a lovely roundness with...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$350.42
A 28 year old Caol Ila bottled in 2012 by Adelphi, and one of 250 bottles matured in a refill bourbon hogshead.  More info
$232.65
Distilled at Caol Ila on the 15th September 1999 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling on the 8th April 2011. A release of 926 bottles.  More info
$57.63
Caol Ila Feis Ile 2012
(70cl, 60.40%)
Caol Ila's Feris Ile 2012 bottling, this is a big bruiser of a whisky, finished in second-fill sherry casks.  More info
$241.56
A Pedro Ximinez (sic) finished Bruichladdich. This is part of a release of 6,000 bottles of 17 years old whisky.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
27 year old Port Ellen distilled in 1982. This is rare whisky, aged in Bourbon casks and finished in ChÔteau D'Yquem sauternes barrels. This was bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery in 2009, and is...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
A Bruichladdich from several vintages, created to show the complexity of the whisky. This is the third edition of Infinity, in general release, matured in refill sherry and tempranillo casks, with...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$69.94
Lagavulin Feis Ile 2012
(70cl, 55.10%)
Lagavulin's incredible 2012 Feis Ile release, a real favourite here with lots to discover.  More info
$482.59
A single cask Bunnahabhain, distilled in December 1978, and aged for 33 years before bottling in December 2011 for Douglas Laing's Old and Rare Platinum Selection.  More info
$399.79

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